WHERE TO EAT, DRINK AND VISIT IN JAPAN
KYOTO • Aritsugu A shop that has been in handcrafting knives since 1560. Nishiki Markets, Kyoto. • Hitsuji Interesting doughnut flavours like sweet potato and earl grey are a regular occurrence at the small doughnut shop Hitsuji, near Kyoto’s Imperial Palace. The ones rolled in cocoa are not to be missed — get in early though as they usually sell out. Corner Tominokoji and Ebisugawa streets, Kyoto. • Kitone My favourite shop to visit when I am in Kyoto. They have a wonderful collection of ceramics, wooden objects and fabric from artists in Japan. As well as the homewares, there’s a restaurant where the chef produces simple home-style meals, all served in ceramics from the shop. kitone.jp • Monk Tucked in the foothills of Kyoto, Monk is a real escape from the city. A truly serene dining experience, where the food is thoughtful, but generous in spirit. The seasonal menu changes daily. restaurant-monk.com • Noku Hotel This boutique hotel is in a great location near the Imperial Palace. nokuroxy.com TOKYO • Eatrip Sit in the atrium-like dining room of Eatrip and you may convince yourself that you’re in the countryside somewhere. However, this little green oasis actually sits a moment’s walk from bustling Harujuku in Tokyo. The focus here is organic, both in food and wine, and the menu changes daily, depending on what the farmers deliver. restaurant-eatrip.com • Farmers’ Market at UNU Every weekend, the courtyard of the United Nations University becomes a buzzing farmers’ market. Food trucks line the perimeter and there is a rotating schedule of events, such as sake or bakery festivals, which occupy the rear of the space, making for a fun morning out. farmersmarkets.jp • Higashiya This store specialises in traditional Japanese sweets. Their flagship in Ginza is the most impressive but the hole-in-the-wall branch in Aoyama, which specialises in manju (buns usually filled with sweet red bean), is equally as beautiful. Another project of theirs is the Sakurai Japanese Tea Experience in Tokyo’s famous Spiral building — well worth a visit. higashiya.com/en • Merci Bake My favourite cake shop in Tokyo, Merci Bake creates simple but delicious treats like chocolate pound cake and layered carrot cake as well an array of biscuits, preserves and parfaits in jars. mercibake.com • Sunday Bake Shop There’s a real neighbourhood feel about this place. The counter is filled with interesting and unusual takes on traditional cakes. sundaybakeshop.jp • Tarui Bakery The place in Tokyo for artisan bread, as well as banana loaves, savoury buns and sandwiches. Follow @taruibakery on Instagram. • Tonki Tonki has reached cult status with travellers and locals alike, not only for their impeccable tonkatsu (breaded, deep-friend pork), but for the theatre that ensues in the kitchen when you eventually get a seat at the bar (expect lines!). We love to come here after a long day walking around Tokyo. Meguro, Tokyo.